works at the Instituto de Estudos do Trabalho e Sociedade
in Rio de Janeiro. He was born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He studied sociology, political science and public administration at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil (1958-1961), attended UNESCO’s Latin American School of Social Sciences (FLACSO) in Santiago de Chile (1962-3), and obtained his Ph. D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1973. He is a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Brazilian Order of Scientific Merit.
He has lived in Rio de Janeiro since 1969, working and teaching at the Fundação Getúlio Vargas and, until 1988, at the Instituto Universitário de Pesquisas do Rio de Janeiro. He was a professor of political science at the Universidade de São Paulo, and, between 1999 and 2002, director of the American Institutes for Research for Brazil. From May 1994 to December 1998, was President of Brazil’s Institute of Geography and Statistics (Fundação IBGE). Before that, he was the research director of the Research Group on Higher Education at the Universidade de São Paulo.
Short term appointments and fellowships during these years included the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (1978), the Tinker Professorship of Latin American Studies at Columbia University (1986), a visiting professorship at the School of Education and the Center for Studies on Higher Education of the University of California, Berkeley (1985), the Institute of Advanced Studies of the Universidade de São Paulo (1987), the Nabuco Professor of Brazilian Studies at the Center for Latin American Studies of Stanford University (2001) and brief periods as visiting scholar at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences (1986) the St. Antonys College (1994) and the Centre for Brazilian Studies (2003), Oxford University. In the spring of 2004 he was the Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professor of Latin American Studies at Harvard Univesity, assigned to the Department of Sociology. He is a former President of the Brazilian Sociological Association, and was chairman of the research group on the sociology of science and technology of the International Sociological Association. He was for many years the editor of Dados – Revista de Ciências Sociais, and belongs to the editorial board of several academic journals in Latin America and Europe.
His earlier work dealt with questions of political change in a historical and comparative perspective, with special emphasis on Brazil. More recently, he has worked with the sociological and political dimensions of the production of knowledge, in science, technology and education.